An essay(with outline)on the novel by Caroline Knapp titled Drinking: A Love Story
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Thesis: Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp is a story of one woman 's struggle
with alcoholism. She discusses the possible link between heredity and alcoholism, how
she is effected by alcohol and how her life becomes uncontrollable as a result.
I. Introduction to drinking
A. Her family
B. How it makes her feel
1. Social reasons
2. Avoidance of self-awareness
3. Physical Symptoms
II. What is an alcoholic?
A. "Skid row bum"
B. "High functioning alcoholic"
III. Is heredity a factor?
A. Her father
B. Other families
IV. Discomfort + drink = no discomfort
A. Social situations
V. Public vs. private drinking
A. No holds barred drinking
B. Maintaining the façade
A. The rules
B. Young, professional, female
C.…show more content… When an alcoholic is alone, the drinking can be done the way he/she wants to
do it, with no holds barred and no one watching or judging. Public drinking and the
simple matter of the purchase of alcohol are laborious issues for the alcoholic. Caroline
points out that she could not visit the same liquor store too often, because the clerk
behind the counter might begin to suspect she had a drinking problem. If the alcoholic
goes to a restaurant just for a drink, she must order food as well, so no one will guess that
all she really wanted was the drink. It is a full time job--keeping the secret. Alcoholics
obsess about when they will drink, how much they will drink and what they will drink,
while projecting the image of "everything 's fine...no problem here."
Denial is what keeps the alcoholic drinking. The author says all alcoholics have
"rules". An alcoholic considers him or herself just a normal person who just likes to
drink, until they break a rule. For example, one rule may be that unless he/she drives a
car with a drink in their hand, they do not have a problem. Once a person breaks that
rule, he/she can change it to something else, i.e. killing someone while driving home
drunk. Caroline Knapp says that even when she started to think she had a problem with
drinking, there was always an excuse: young, professional female...of course she needed
that drink. Think of all the pressure she was under! Who could blame her?